How to Lose at Fantasy Football
#6 Over analyze the preseason
How do you factor in preseason performance when formulating your rankings? The preseason can be puzzling for fantasy football owners. Keep things in perspective. NFL players understand that the preseason doesn't count for anything and so should you. Because of recent injuries to stud players, NFL coaches rarely give much playing time to their star players. Top RBs will step out of bounds when they'd normally challenge linebackers, and WRs aren't going to risk injury by making a catch in traffic over the middle. Don't bump the fantasy studs down on your board based on a couple poor preseason games alone.
Plus, don't be the owner who studies preseason box scores and uses a high draft pick on a WR who leads the NFL in receiving yards after 4 preseason games, because he will probably only be fourth on his teams depth chart. Most of these preseason players are competing for a roster spot, and just because he leads in receiving, rushing, or passing yards, usually only means that he played in every game. Preseason games are for paying attention to roster battles, and watching the injury reports.
#7 Draft all your favorite teams players
There is always those one or two guys each year that will draft the QB, RB, or WR from their favorite team way to early. Everyone has a favorite NFL team, and everyone has an NFL team they hate too. However, my experience is that when it comes to fantasy football, I have learned to put my emotions aside. Regardless if you hate the Washington Redskins, Clinton Portis should not be passed over by you. And by the same token if you are a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, I don't suggest drafting QB Tommy Maddox very early in the draft. The point is, to succeed in fantasy football you need to draft players who will give you the best opportunity to win your league even if that will means putting your emotions on the backburner and selecting a player you despise or bypassing your favorite player.
#8 Draft several players from the same team
If you draft several players from the same team this can spell disaster. You should diversify your fantasy football players as much as possible as it is advantageous to not draft several players from the same team. Regardless if the team has a high octane offense or not, owning three, four, or more weekly starters from any one team is too risky. Not only are you setting yourself up for bye week problems, you're putting all your proverbial eggs in one teams basket. All it takes is a key injury to a quarterback or even an offensive lineman to bring an entire offense - and your entire fantasy team - to its knees. Lets say you take RB Shaun Alexander in round 1, you get WR Darrell Jackson in round 4, and QB Matt Hasslebeck in round 5---on the bye week and on weeks the offense can only produce field goals, or muster up only small yardage, you will surely suffer a loss that week. I strongly suggest a good mixture of players from different teams to have as your starting lineup.
#9 Forget to manage your team each week
In season management of your fantasy teams is just as important as preparing for the draft. Mismanaging your team and especially forgetting to set your the lineup each week will definitely cause you to lose in fantasy football. Plus not only will this surely help you lose and make every owner playing you happy, but it will also make every owner needing your opponent to lose mad at you. Whether you have bye weeks, injuries, or even if a starter loses his job---forgetting to set your lineups should be one of the deadly sins. Unfortunately this happens alot in free leagues, and Internet leagues, once a team shows signs of a losing season. And as bad as I hate to admit it, sometimes it happens in the local leagues with our buddies and pay leagues. Another form of mismanagement is not using the free agent waiver wire. The waiver wire is a great in season tool that can help you win, and I suggest you use it to pick up quality free agents. One of the most important keys to having a successful fantasy football team is that you will need to pay attention to your team (study matchups, study the NFL injury list, know your leagues free agents, and set your lineups).
#10 Make bad trades
Trading is a valuable asset to fantasy owners, but making one or more bad trades can ruin your teams chances for the season. And if you are in a keeper league or dynasty league, a bad trade can hurt your team for several years. Study your teams strengths and weakness, and make only trades that can help your team. Sometimes its best to ask others opinions on the deal (if you have another owner you can trust in your league or post it on our website message board to get others thoughts on the purposed deal). Any trade you make is your final decision, but like any other thing involving fantasy football, information is the key. Each owner is different in the way he or she approaches trading. Make sure the trade helps you out, whether it's now or in the future. Do your homework (check schedules/future matchups, check the injury status, make sure there's no sudden retirement announcements, etc.). Trading can be one of the most fun parts of fantasy football, but can also be one of the biggest thorns in your side if you do not approach it right.
The moral of the story is don't be the worst team in your league. No owner wants to be the laughing stock of the league. So whether you are a serious owner or a part time owner, you don't want to be the one busy serving drinks missing the big game or having to do whatever the rule is for being the worst team in your league. You can't control what actually happens out on the field, but if you don't make the mistakes I listed in the above article, you should at least have a competitive team this year.
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